So is the Barracuda XT 2TB “the world’s fastest desktop hard drive”? Not by a long shot. After all, there are plenty of SSDs that will leave Seagate's monster choking in the dust. However, what it comes close to being is the fastest one we have tested. We say 'close' because Western Digital's VelociRaptor still takes that crown in a majority of scenarios, but given the capacity difference that's not much of a criticism. Despite hardly benefiting from SATA 6Gb/s' extra bandwidth then, the Barracuda XT 2TB performs well when it comes to speed, produces a quiet hum in use and never gets more than warm to the touch.
Where the Barracuda falls down significantly is price. Sure, we're used to paying a premium for new technology, but retailing at around £246 compared to the £115 that will net you a 2TB Hitachi Deskstar or roughly £130 for the cool and quiet 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green, it's hardly good value. In fact, for the price you could get a small SSD – like the Kingston SSDNow! V-series 40GB - for your main system install and most frequently-used apps, and a decent 2TB drive for all your large files, and still be better off.
Offering good performance despite disappointing SATA 6Gb/s results, the Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB is only let down by its high price, which in some cases is twice what the competition demand for similar capacity hard drives.